Which DAC should I upgrade to? (minor audiosciencereview rant)

Discussion in 'Advice Threads' started by archerious, Oct 18, 2020.

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Which DAC should I upgrade to?

  1. Schiit Yggdrasil 2

    5 vote(s)
    16.7%
  2. Denafrips Pontus

    1 vote(s)
    3.3%
  3. Holo Audio Spring Kitsune

    3 vote(s)
    10.0%
  4. Something else - Please leave reply below.

    3 vote(s)
    10.0%
  5. Plz lurk moar

    18 vote(s)
    60.0%
  1. archerious

    archerious New

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    I've been eying these three:

    Schiit Yggdrasil 2 ($2000 mint usually)
    Denafrips Pontus ($1500 mint usually)
    Holo Audio Spring Kitsune ($2000 mint usually)

    My current DAC is a Topping D90 which sounds about as lifeless as my boss when he whines about metrics and agent performance for the day.

    Looking to get a DAC that is detailed but musical, give me some life, warmth, good soundstage, and details.

    My Schiit Freya+ with Tung-Sol tubes isn't enough to make this D90 DAC sound alive, it still sounds like someone on life support at the morgue, desperate to get some musicality that the shill Amirm claimed we'd have. Don't get me started on that snake oil site. Here it is in a nutshell: Schiit USA made DAC? Bad. R2R DAC? Bad. Topping DAC? Amirm say besto don't buy anything else f you if you do.

    Sorry about that, but I really dislike that site and their cult, I fell for it and now have gear I hate.

    Thank you my best audio friends - Jon.

    PS: f**k the hypex NC252, glad that garbage was returned. I really like my Schiit Vidar.
     
  2. beemerphile

    beemerphile Friend

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    The oft-asked unanswerable question.
     
  3. archerious

    archerious New

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    I figured it, they are all fine DACs I presume? I couldn't really go wrong with any of them?
     
  4. DEATHxMACHINE

    DEATHxMACHINE Friend

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    No offense but do the research yourself and try to audition them before dropping $2k. At that level they are all good (except the denafrips, they are shit {atleast the gen 1 Ares}) and it is all on preference.
     
  5. scblock

    scblock Friend

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    Do us a favor, please, and introduce yourself. Maybe lurk a bit, and get the lay of the land over time too before just starting a poll about spending 2 grand. It's hard to answer questions that are mostly about your preferences when we really don't know anything about them.
     
  6. Blake

    Blake Acquaintance

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    Ageed, more background info is needed.

    Denafrips is very unpopular on this site so you can anticipate lots of negative commments. Personally, I am extremely happy with my Denafrips gear, but I don't mind if others dislike them as a brand. Someone has to be tied to the whipping post.

    Yggdrasil A2 is a good choice based upon my ownership and experience in terms of price/performance ratio and is a step up from much of the $1,000 - $2,000 DAC crowd in terms of the typical audiophile sonic judgment points.
     
  7. archerious

    archerious New

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    Just introduced myself, sorry for jumping the gun. A bit on edge from work and the disappointments with the D90 and AudioShillReview that Amirm runs.
     
  8. beemerphile

    beemerphile Friend

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    I think Chord and Mytek can both fix you up with DACs that sound like shit for $2,000. I can't believe that someone paid me US paper money for my Mytek Stereo192 DSD DAC. Just borrow one of those for a few weeks and anything you follow it with (like maybe even an ODAC) will sound brilliant.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
  9. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

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    it seems you already like schiit gear that you own. logically, you should buy more schiit gear and then come back and tell us how good it is, though you probably don't need the $2000 one

    this webpage talks about how to choose schiit gear: https://www.schiit.com/guides/choosing-a-dac

    it says:
    most bang for the buck sounds good, I would choose the modi
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
  10. archerious

    archerious New

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    Honestly I picked the Yiggy because it's the DAC that POS hated the most so I figured it probably schiits on his shilled garbage D90 the most.

    But I really should research the audible differences between Bifrost mutli, Gungnir multi, and Yiggy on this site. I can see it has a lot of info from good people, friends.
     
  11. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. earnmyturns

    earnmyturns Smartest friend

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    I own a Yggdrasil A2, and I've owned a Holo Spring KTE 3, I was able to compare the two extensively. Music: mostly modern jazz, world, and classical (Baroque, early, modern). For speakers (which I think is your setup), I'd go with the Yggdrasil. More realistic staging, more convincing dynamics. Spring KTE 3 spreads out the instruments too much for my expectations (before COVID-19 I attended > 25 live concerts/year). For headphones, it depends on the rest of the chain, Spring KTE 3 sounds dense, romantic, perfect for Debussy or Ravel on headphones. But then I'm a bit of a soft touch for NOS DACs for headphones.
     
  13. archerious

    archerious New

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    Thank you so much, this helps a lot. I'm really learning towards a Yggdrasil. I like that it's made in USA as well, and my Vidar is a reliable product so I think this is a good fit.
     
  14. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF's Mr. Bean

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    I have no idea what your income situation is, but even if you are the type that can drop $2k without batting an eye I would hesitate in just recommending Yggdrasil or Holo Spring KTE. Those are both R2R DACs; the "modern sound" kind, not similar to the Topping you use at all (thr Holo stuff is also NOS, a whole other can of worms). There is absolutely zero guarantee that you'd even like the sound.

    Normally, this is the time I'd spout some sort of exposition about "try before you buy," but obviously these times aren't conducive to such a stance.

    My advice is actually to buy something like Modi Multibit or at most Bifrost 2 (or heck, an old Bifrost Multibit). These will serve as good general introductions to Schiit's house sound as well as the modern R2R timbre. From there you can better triangulate what you'd like (not to mention that none of us here know you very well; we have no idea what chain you're running, what other gear you have, or even your preferences).
     
  15. murphythecat

    murphythecat GRU-powered uniformed trumpkin

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    I think the choice of a DAC cannot be separated from the headphones you like-use.
    For example, id go with Yggdrasil with hd650. For Utopia, Id take a NOS R2R DAC.
     
  16. archerious

    archerious New

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    I own a pair of HD650 and use speakers (Magnepan 1.7i). I'm leaning towards Yggdrasil G2 for sure based on what you and earnmyturns said.
     
  17. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Don't go with Holo DACs unless you know you want non-oversampling. It's not something I'd recommend jumping into right away. Non-oversampling has a unique sound characteristic.

    I might suggest, instead, the Bifrost 2 and either a Digione Signature, USB Sig + Digione Sig combo, or a Pi2AES. A good source matters. I will take good SPDIF into a Schiit multibit DAC over USB easily.

    If you still want to spend more, I'd say get one of their higher end, multibit DACs, but leave enough on the side to get a nice SPDIF source along with it.
     
  18. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Here's the psychology...

    Might make some sense. And doesn't cost anything. But...
    Not so much.

    Take some time to get over that. Let that POS's preferences not influence you in any way before you spend big money. In the mean time buy something low-cost and inoffensive and enjoy the music.

    Really, you do not need to get straight into a fling with an expensive dac because you're on the rebound from a bad relationship with a web forum.
     
  19. penguins

    penguins Friend, formerly known as fp627

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    What chacha said. I too would try a few inexpensive DACs if at all possible, maybe even throw in a few bad ones, figure out what you like and dislike about them, maybe try 1 or 2 midrange ones, then go from there. Even if you are like me and don't find one single preferred sound and think the cheap DACs do not really correlate to $2k+ DACs, you will have a much better idea of how to listen and go about making yourself happy with your choices. If you already have golden ears or can pass a blind listening test between multiple different DACs in a single session, then ignore this and lurk around a little and then buy a DAC that you think works synergistically (in this case it seems like you want a Yggdrasil).
     
  20. supertransformingdhruv

    supertransformingdhruv Almost "Made"

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    To build off what folks are saying here, a lot of companies (including Schiit) have a pretty decent return policy that lets you move up the line without any fees. You could do something like the following:
    • Buy a midrange DAC that forums say is pretty representative (i.e. Bifrost 2 or Gungnir MB).
    • If you like it, you're done.
    • If you don't like it at all, you're out 15% of a number that's a lot less than 2k.
    • If you like it but you want a bit more, send it back and upgrade to Yggdrasil without the restocking fee.
    You can also always play around on the used market, trying stuff for cheaper & losing less money on resale if you don't like it. It's a bit more hassle and you have to wait for good deals to pop up, but you can get some good sound and a lot of variety without losing much money.
     

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